June 6, 2012

S.F. MTA receives $49M to fund rail projects

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) received more than $49 million in state bond funds to support the Central Subway and Persia Triangle projects.

The Central Subway Project will receive $48.4 million in state Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account Program (PTMISEA) funds, allowing for continued progress on extending the T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown. The Persia Triangle Project, which will improve pedestrian amenities and transit circulation at three intersections in southern San Francisco, will receive $675,734 in PTMISEA funds.

“This critical state funding will allow us to continue moving forward with these important upgrades to San Francisco’s public transit system,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA board of directors. “These projects will improve San Francisco’s quality of life by reducing travel times and enhancing mobility. They will also help us meet the goals of the city’s Transit-First Policy. We look forward to the successful completion of these essential infrastructure investments.”

The PTMISEA Program was created by state Proposition 1B, the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. PTMISEA funds a variety of transit-related improvements, including capital projects and transit improvements. Over a ten-year period, the program will invest $3.6 billion in transit projects across California.

The Central Subway Project had received about $59.8 million in PTMISEA funds prior to this allocation. In total, the state has committed to invest about $307.8 million in PTMISEA funds to construct the Central Subway.

The Persia Triangle Project will reroute part of Muni’s 29 Sunset Route and install pedestrian improvements, including a bus bulb and modified curb returns, around the intersections of Persia and Ocean avenues, Ocean Avenue and Mission Street and Persia Avenue and Mission Street.

The Central Subway Project will extend the T Third Line from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown, providing a direct, rapid transit link from the Bayshore and Mission Bay areas to SoMa and downtown. Four new stations will be built along the 1.7-mile Central Subway Project alignment – a street-level station at 4th and Brannan streets and three subway stations: Yerba Buena/Moscone Station, Union Square/Market Street Station and Chinatown Station.

Travel times through this busy corridor will be significantly reduced by the Central Subway. During peak hours, current travel between Stockton and Washington Streets and 4th and King Streets takes more than 20 minutes on Muni trolley coach routes. On the Central Subway, the same trip will take less than eight minutes.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Transit Project. The first segment of the T Third Line opened in April 2007, restoring light rail service to a high transit-ridership area of San Francisco for the first time in 50 years.

The Central Subway is expected to open to the public in 2019.

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